Police set for fire station?

PUBLISHED: 11:10 24 February 2012

Budleigh Salterton police station. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref exb 1539-04-12AW

Budleigh Salterton police station. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref exb 1539-04-12AW

Archant

The police have pledged to keep open Budleigh Salterton’s police station until an alternative can be found - and that could be the fire station.

Devon and Cornwall Police is considering closing the part-time station in Fore Street to cut costs.

They say that for a beat manager and a PCSO, the part-time station is under-used and too big.

The force wants to close up to 10 per cent of its leased stations in Devon by 2016, a saving of £500,000 over five years.

Last month, it asked the town council if they had any room – councillors said no.

Now the force is seeking alternatives with public sector organisations and has approached the fire service.

Georgina Kemp, assistant freedom of information officer, said: “We have approached the fire service and will review the possibility of co-location as a possible option.”

She said they were committed to having ‘a physical base’ in Budleigh and added: “We are at the beginning of a feasibility study to assess the opportunity and potential benefits.

“A decision to close the existing facility is yet to be made.

“The current strategy would be to retain the existing facility until we have identified an acceptable operational alternative.”

However, if ‘co-location’ within the public sector could not be found they would approach private landlords and businesses in Budleigh.

She said: “The existing local police base is leased. If we cannot find a suitable public sector partner, we will explore other options.”

Assistant chief fire officer Pete Smith said: “We should always explore opportunities to improve local service provision through collaboration with potential partners.

“Any partnership should demonstrate tangible benefits to the community and the opportunity to co-locate with the police would fit into this category.”

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